Being able to communicate our needs and being understood is something that many of us battle with from a young age. When people don’t get each other, it can lead to crossed-wires and hence arguments, leaving many of us feeling misunderstood, upset, shut down, angry and frustrated. Let's change that!
Being able to communicate our needs and being understood is something that many of us battle with from a young age. When people don’t get each other, it can lead to crossed-wires and hence arguments, leaving many of us feeling misunderstood, upset, shut down, angry and frustrated. Taking inspiration from my own life I think that with a little work and patience you can improve your communication skills. We are all unique and have our own individual way of talking, that’s what makes earth such an amazing place but at the same time there is so much misunderstanding between people. Hopefully, the tips in this article will help you breakdown some of the barriers that get in the way of conscious communication and hence will open up windows of better understanding.
Communication comes in many forms so for this week’s article let’s talk about verbal communication. To me, that is words and I’ve often felt that words can be a source of beauty and love but at the same time can cut like a knife in an instance causing heartache and pain. Yet I also feel that it is also our own perception of words that when hearing them if we are not conscious, we can easily distort their meaning. This can happen if we step too much unconsciously into our past pains. Some words end up like coat hangers in an overstuffed closet. If we are stubborn about the feelings that they evoke, then they will bend and derail our being, like a big ugly power suit. However, if we learn to approach communication as something new and exciting and really listen to what others have to say, then our words become a grace flowing with light. Communication then becomes less of a struggle and instead more of a harmonious dance.
Recently while at a friend of mine we were having a conversation in her kitchen as she made delicious pancakes. Her cute three-year-old son played in front of us amused and happy with his toys as the scent of strawberries and batter filled the room. As we spoke, lie-in popped into our conversation as she referred to her lack of sleep. Her little boy then jumped up all of a sudden from his game and ran into his bedroom. A few moments later he came running back pulling behind him a large toy lion. ‘Look, look!’ he exclaimed ‘I’ve got a lion!’ Okay so it was the wrong kind of lie-in but he reminded me that so many of us have lost the purity of listening as a child.
So bearing this in mind is good verbal communication about us all trying to be as conscious as we possibly can in the process, as well as listening, and if so have can we achieve this? If the door of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite.’ William Blake said so wisely all those centuries ago. The simple elegance and purity of his truth warms my heart.
So listening and consciousness is that the answer to great communication? It’s a great starting point and I’m learning as I get older that listening and being present seem to be the keys to many things. Yet there are some more useful components to communication that I would like to summarise:
Show the other person who is speaking that they are being listen to. Ways to do this is to ask questions and also clarify by repeating to them what they have said. This shows to them that they are being understood. Look for natural gaps in the conversation to speak rather than just butting in. Remember you don’t have to agree, you just need to show each other that you’re both listening and can always agree to disagree on a matter.
When communicating stay present by feeling the ground beneath you, smelling the air etc.. and taking lots of deep breaths. It sounds obvious, but this really does help I feel people like myself with short attention spans.
Sharing uncomfortable news takes courage. Try and remember the following before you talk:
Is it kind?
Is it necessary?
Does it improve on the silence?
If yes then go for it.
Kindness isn’t about you not expressing yourself. If you have to stand your ground or tell another person news, that they may not wish to hear then make sure you deliver it with compassion and a smile. Embody your truth and allow the power of your words to compassionately communicate.
Lastly, think about how you communicate to yourself internally and treat yourself with as much respect as you can.